What is an adjective?

Adjectives are describing words. They tell us more information about nouns, such as the ‎colour, size, age, etc.‎

Examples of adjectives include:


Where do adjectives go in relation to nouns?‎

In French, adjectives usually go after the noun:‎

  • J’ai un chat noir - I have a black cat.‎
  • Mon père a les cheveux courts - My dad has short hair.‎

However, most of the BAGS adjectives go before the noun. BAGS stands for Beauty, Age, ‎Goodness and Size.

beau / belle ‎‎(beautiful)‎vieux / vieille (old)‎bon / bonne (good)grand(e) (big)‎
joli(e) (pretty)‎nouveau / nouvelle ‎‎(new)‎mauvais(e) (bad)‎petit(e) (small)

For example:‎

  • J’habite dans une grande maison - I live in a big house.‎
  • Ma copine a une nouvelle tortue - My friend has a new tortoise.‎

Most adjectives in French change depending on whether they are describing a masculine, ‎feminine or plural noun. The usual endings are as follows:‎

masculine singularmasculine pluralfeminine singularfeminine plural
(no ending)-s-e-es
  • J’ai un vélo vert - I have a green bike.‎
  • Tu aimes les haricots verts? - Do you like green beans?‎
  • Ma tante mange une pomme verte - My aunt is eating a green ‎apple.‎
  • Mon oncle aime les voitures vertes - My uncle likes green cars.‎

To find out more about exceptions to the rules and irregular BAGS adjectives click on the link below:

Adjectives - exceptions to the rules